Wednesday, March 14, 2007


Rather than write a book, I think about what an interesting premise for a book would be and then do absolutely nothing with it. My greatest moments of inspiration typically arrive when I am supposed to be working but I instead "just sorta space out for about an hour" and follow my wandering mind. Here is currently what I have in the mental hopper:

The first story is a blatant cash grab. The ultimate point of that endeavor is for it to end up as a film but I figure that simply writing a screenplay has a low yield percentage so my odds of success would increase (fractionally) if the story was first published as a marginally successful paperback and then optioned by some Canadian production company with poor taste and (relatively) deep pockets. In an ideal world, the film would be as successful as say, a Van Wilder or some shit. You know, a movie that most people recognize the name as being that of a film and just commercially successful enough to afford me a down payment on a nice condo and maybe an invite to a few Maxim parties. Is that too much to ask? We're not talking about millions in take-home, just a few hundred thousand.

Anyway, the premise for that one is ridiculously dumb. Following the breakup of their semi-well known indie rock band, the two remaining members are in deep financial debt to the major record company which subsumed their independent label and shelled out a lot of cash for the duo's disastrously ambitious and now unfinished next album. But rather than write them off and send the duo spiralling into Chapter 11, the label decides that money can still be made off of them -- or at least they can be used to defer some other external costs.

The label has a problem. It has sunk a lot of money into producing, branding, and marketing a young female singer whose image is as contrived as Britney Spears' or Ashley Simpson's, but they are attempting to present her as some kind of "authentic" rock artist. To date she has achieved marginal success but may actually be on the cusp of a real commercial breakthrough. The label's biggest problem however is that she is an absolute diva and unbearable to be around. She is cruel and critical of her backup musicians, even though she has no real musical taste and no clue what she is being critical of, and subsequently most of the session musicians in the union won't work with her. Her backup band has quit and the label has already committed serious coin to a major tour. No band, no tour. And in come our indie rock heroes.

Rather than trying to cobble together a whole new set of musicians and risk another mutiny, a sympathetic A&R rep at the label (female - potential love interest, perhaps?) has the "brilliant" idea to conscript the two guys into service as part of the touring band for Ms. Pain-in-the-Ass. Because of their debt, the guys can essentially be forced in to slave labor and can't quit midway through for fear of legal and financial repercussions. Double bonus for the label as the two might also lend an ounce of credibility to the image it is trying to construct for its star. Hilarity ensues...

So there's the premise. I figure one of the guys will be the socially awkward yet inventively brilliant guitarist and the other will be the wry and level-headed bassist who also happens to be a pretty talented songwriter (he'll most likely hook up with the A&R chick at some point). There will also be a ridiculous "inside" gimmick where the two guys are always jamming on Pavement tunes between rehearsals, although the band will never be mentioned by name, and always talking about Built To Spill, although the band's music will never be heard. For whatever reason, I find that funny. Now, there are several fatal flaws with this story a few of which being:
  1. There is never any shortage of young session musicians who will suffer just about any abuse if it means they can go on a large corporate-sponsored tour.
  2. A couple of scraggly indie rock guys with a minor cult following will do nothing for the commercial fortunes of a fledgling pop idol.
  3. It's dumb.
  4. I think there might already be a movie about this.
  5. There are only so many times I can use a joke where the guys' cobbled together and well-used gear keeps breaking down in rehearsals.
Anyway, it should be a smashing success and I will be mildly rich sometime soon.

In the meantime I will also be working on my other book which is based on an amalgam of two of my friends and their storied and tragi-comic dating experiences. In it, I get to be the sardonic narrator and third party observer.


At 3/15/2007 10:29 AM, Blogger Hey Pretty said...

Are you by any chance a bassist?

At 3/15/2007 11:00 AM, Blogger Carrie M said...

but remember - the diva has to be tamed at some point by the deepness of the indie rock heroes.

you could also swap out indie rock heroes for washed up hair bands or similar. there literally might be a movie about that though.

of course the happy ending would be that the shrew is tamed and the two guys get their career back.

i like it!

At 3/15/2007 11:03 AM, Blogger Momentary Academic said...

The first idea should just be written as a film script.

The second idea could be funny and incisive if you can pull it off. I think you can.

I'm writing a story about a box of hair. So anything goes.

At 3/15/2007 11:32 AM, Blogger Jason said...

Guitarist. Not inventive. Not brilliant.

I am going with no spiritual-awakening for the diva whereby she ends up extreemly successful in another genre (country crossover?) but remains as terrible as ever.

But aren't all books just film scripts anyway, these days?

At 3/15/2007 12:58 PM, Blogger DCVita said...

Wasn't there a weezer video that was kinda long the same lines? I would watch it if it turned into a full fledged movie. And I never tire of tragi-comic dating experiences. Heck, it might even resemble my own dating life!! lol

At 3/15/2007 10:07 PM, Blogger Carrie M said...

perfect situation with eliza dushku? that does sound vaguely favorite weezer video is keep fishin'. it had the muppets in it!

jason, i like your version of what happens to the diva better. or maybe she could like join a commune.

yeah, i'm a little ADD tonight.


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